soufflé with cheddar and bacon

(serves 4)


If you could eat clouds, they might taste like this.
You may recognize that this recipe starts with making a béchamel sauce. Cheddar and bacon provide the flavor. Egg whites are folded in to elevate the dish to its fluffy, cloud-like texture.

2 slices bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 tsp unsalted butter, plus 3 Tbsp
1/4 cup flour
1-1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp nutmeg
6 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Position rack in the lower third of the oven. Grease a 2-quart soufflé dish (or any 3” tall baking dish) with 1 tsp butter. Dust the dish with about 2 Tbsp of Parmesan.

Melt the remaining butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk while cooking until it becomes smooth and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the milk. Return to heat and bring to a simmer, whisking continuously. The mixture will start to thicken. Turn the heat to very low. Continue to whisk while cooking for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is very thick. Remove from heat. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Beat the egg yolks into the mixture, one at a time. Stir in cheddar, bacon and remaining Parmesan.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at low speed. Once they begin to foam, add the cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Using a rubber spatula, gently stir a quarter of the egg whites into the mixture to lighten it up. Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the mixture. Use a light hand while folding and work quickly to maintain as much volume as possible.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish. Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until it is puffed up and golden brown. Do not open the oven door for the first 20 minutes to allow the soufflé to rise properly.

Once the soufflé comes out of the oven, serve it immediately since it deflates quickly. Use a large serving spoon to scoop the soufflé on to plates, making sure to spoon some of the oozy center onto each serving.


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